Ever since the first time I went to Turkey on holiday, I have been in love with Turkish cuisine, and one of my favourite dishes from that country is kofte – a kind of spiced baked meatball. Even more beloved are the ones stuffed with cheese. There’s nothing quite like warm, melted cheese oozing out of the middle of a spicy meatball – it makes my mouth water just to think of it.
And they’re incredibly easy to make too, and if you use cheese as your HEa, they are entirely syn-free!
F = Free food (eat as much as you like)
S = Speed food (these should make up at least a third of your meal)
P = Protein free food (eat as much of these as you like!)
HEA = Healthy Extra A (a daily allowance of dairy produce)
# = a number denotes roughly how many syns are in foods used
- Mince (any kind so long as it has less than 5% fat – beef or lamb work very well) (P)
- Finely-diced onion (S)
- Minced garlic (S)
- Egg (optional) (P)
- Cumin (F)
- Dried thyme (F)
- Cheese (HEa)
- Mix together the mince, onion, garlic, cumin and thyme with your hands, making sure it combines well.
- If the mixture doesn’t hold together well enough, add a little egg, and work into the mixture with your hands.
- Take enough of the mixture in your hand to form a large meatball, and push a small piece of cheese into the centre of it, making sure the cheese is entirely sealed inside. Shape the kofte into slightly cylindrical meatballs.
- Place the meatballs on a rack, or concertina some tin foil and rest them on top of it, so that any fat drips away while the kofte cooks.
- Bake in the oven at around 180C for 20-30 minutes, or until the kofte are browned and cooked through.
I used half a Babybel Light in each of mine, so if it wasn’t part of my HEa allowance, each kofte would have come in at 1 syn.
Allow for two or three kofte per person and serve with rice and stir fried vegetables or a salad to complete the meal.
If you’re not into cheese, or just don’t have the HEa allowance or syns left for the day, you can make these kofte without the cheese and they’re still very tasty!